Dear 20 – something year old new girl in ballet class,
I know you probably feel overwhelmed by everyone around you,
Seeing the perfectly sculpted bodies executing moves with seemingly flawless technique as you stand there struggling the follow the person in front of you and keep your head above water.
But I want you to know something;
We’re so glad you’re here.
Those other bodies you see at the barre are only watching you because they are nervous and don’t know what move comes next in the combo, and are hoping you do so you can help keep you both above water. When it feels like they’re criticizing your every move, they’re actually either zoning out to try and retain the combo across the floor, or their learning from you.
That’s right, you’re already a teacher and it’s your first class.
Don’t let your head get to you. You’re doing better than you think.
So even though I’m watching you bang your head against your steering wheel while you go over every fault you remember from the last hour, assuming no one is noticing as you sit in the safety of your car, I’m not sitting in mine judging you. I’m looking at a reflection of myself from not too long ago. I was the girl that broke down in the corner because I should be better. I was the girl that sat in her car before driving off because I knew I couldn’t drive with so many tears in my eyes. So as I watch you do the same, I wish I could go over and hug you and some how transport what I see in you into your brain.
How you stuck out to me as I peaked into the class you were in.
Not because of your flaws—we all have them— but because of something wonderful you possess that not all ballet dancers do;
You want this so badly, there’s no denying it. You have so much heart when you dance that I can’t not watch you. That is what will make you a great dancer; not technique or build, or talent. I’ve seen people will all three of those that were so boring. There was no life to their movement.
You are full of life.
It drips from your every fiber.
And that is why I chose to back up instead of saying something. To give you your moment to process.
I know you’ll be back.
Theres something in you crazy enough to fight for what you want.
For now, I’ll just hope you don’t beat yourself up too badly, and that one day you’ll be able to look back and see how every step has a lesson and is worth taking. That every move helps shape you into the person you’re destined to be. That this dream will make you feel more alive than you ever thought possible.
And I’ll keep pulling for you.
You’ll be back
And I look forward to seeing you grow.